Books, Disability & Accessibility, Diversity, Pastoral Life, Women in Ministry, Writing

My Presentation at the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind’s Virtual Convention and My Next Book

About the Author: Rev. Rebecca (Torres) Holland graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in English Education. After graduation, attended Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. where she earned her Master’s of Divinity in 2014. As a Filipino-American woman who is visually impaired, she is passionate about creating inclusive spaces within the church and raising disability awareness. She is the author of The United Methodist Church and Disability and Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse. Her next book, Hope for the Broken, is coming soon from Touch Point Press.

Image Description: The banner shows the cover for the book The UMC and Disability

Introduction: On Friday, October 23rd, I was honored to have the opportunity to give a presentation at the Pennsylvania Council of the Blind’s Virtual Convention. Although in the past the convention has met in person, this year the festivities were moved online in order to keep everyone safe. This worked out very well for me, because now that the convention was online, I was able to attend. In the past, I had been unable to attend the convention in person because of my busy work schedule and the complicated nature of arranging travel when one is visually-impaired.

Building Bridges

The theme of this year’s conference was, “Building Bridges.” My presentation was scheduled for the evening of October 23rd, and I was pleased to make many new connections within the blindness community. One kind attendee even told me that she had read a copy of my book, The United Methodist Church and Disability, and that she had enjoyed it so much that she gave a copy to her pastor. Stories like this make me feel greatly encouraged, because the entire purpose of my writing is to help other people. I am especially interested in empowering other members of the disability community and helping to build bridges between the disability communiy, the church and the world.

Image Description: Rebecca smiles and holds both of the books which she has written. She has dark hair and glasses.

The PCB published the following description of my presentation on their website:

Our Stories Change the World, Rebecca Holland, Minister, Writer and Advocate. Rebecca was born with a complicated eye condition that caused her to be visually impaired. As a young person, her deepest wish was to become a music teacher and share the joy of music with children; however, systemic ableism at the university level prevented her from achieving this goal. She mourned for the loss of her dream, and then she started taking her writing seriously. Telling her story has helped her to reshape her personal narrative and to take back her power. She hopes to share what she has learned with others during this session. We all have a story to tell, and the world needs your story! Our stories shape the world, and together we can make big changes, one story at a time.

–from the 2020 PCB Conference Schedule

My Next Book: Hope for the Broken, Coming Soon!

During my presentation, I shared about the many challenges I faced as a person who is visually impaired. Although many of these memories are still painful to recount, it is my hope that others will be inspired to continue fighting the good fight and following their dreams. If you weren’t able to join us for the online convention, you can find out more about my personal journey in my latest book Hope for the Broken, coming soon from Touch Point Press!

You may have noticed that I have been blogging much less these past few months. This is because I have been working on my next book. I am hard at work on both my first novel and another nonfiction project. I have learned that as an author, it is important to never stop writing. When one book is with the publisher, you should be working on the next book. It can take more than a year for books to be published (Hope for the Broken was picked up by Touch Point Press in June of 2019), so in the meantime, it is important to keep working.

If you’re interested in finding out when Hope for the Broken is available for purchase, you can sign up to receive notifications by subscribing to my email list. Just type your name in the box at the bottom of this page to receive an update whenever I publish a blog post. I write about faith, disability awareness, and books.

The United Methodist Church and Disability and Through My Good Eye: A Memoir in Verse are both available on Amazon!

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